Mousaion - Volume 32, Issue 3, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 32, Issue 3, 2014
Augmenting conventional sources with alternative sources in research : an analysis of historical dissertations and theses from universities in South AfricaSource: Mousaion 32, pp 1 –12 (2014)More Less
In most historical research works, conventional sources are used. In most cases these are primary sources (eg, professionally obtained archaeological material, rock art, archival records and oral evidence) and original documents (eg, newspapers, reports and diaries), as well as secondary sources (eg, books, journal articles, theses, etc). There is consensus among historical scholars that alternative sources, such as old objects, and artefacts (eg, machinery, wagons, epitaphs, etc), are not always used adequately in research as compared to conventional sources. Researchers point out that rich sources, including alternative sources, enhance the quality of the research outcome. This study investigated the use of alternative sources by master's and doctoral scholars in historical research at public universities in South Africa in order to compare the use thereof with the use of conventional sources. The study used a non-reactive research method, that is, content analysis of 93 selected master's and doctoral historical research works from public universities in South Africa, to investigate the extent to which conventional sources are used at the expense of alternative sources. The study findings revealed that historical researchers preferred using conventional sources to alternative sources, which were used in only four theses. The study concluded that the use of alternative sources can enrich historical research works as well as augmenting conventional sources. A further study to investigate why researchers do not use alternative sources is recommended. In addition to historical research, the study model can be extended to fields of study such as Sociology, Anthropology and Archaeology.
Source: Mousaion 32, pp 13 –28 (2014)More Less
Higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa require teaching and learning to include work-integrated learning (WIL) within specific learning offerings. The different learning options provided by various faculties have unique and diverse procedures which justify different WIL approaches at HEIs. A lack of structure regarding the information management (IM) for WIL across departments results in different processes being followed, which can impact negatively on the optimal utilisation of WIL. Frameworks for IM for WIL, however, have been developed at international HEIs. Using a qualitative approach and phenomenological research design and working with these frameworks as well as the Theory of Motivated Information Management, the researchers collected data using semi-structured individual interviews and group discussions from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and the Northwestern University (NWU) in Illinois, United States (US). This article presents the findings of an IM framework from these two US universities. After research was conducted at a South African university, a conceptual framework was developed for the IM for WIL based on the framework from the international universities that may be implemented at HEIs in South Africa. With time this framework could be tested in a number of settings that could lead to the development of a model for IM for WIL in the South African context. The article, however, reports on the findings of the two international universities only and the conceptual framework requires further testing and validation before it can be published.
Source: Mousaion 32, pp 29 –48 (2014)More Less
The informal sector plays a key role in the economies of developing countries, through the creation of jobs; the production of affordable goods and services; and poverty reduction. However, the sector faces many challenges which include limited access to markets, lack of finance, and lack of access to new and changing technology. The purpose of this article is to report on the current diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the informal sector in Kenya by showing the current access, use, impact and its potential. This study used a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. The survey research method was used to collect data by using structured and unstructured questionnaires from a sample of 390 micro and small enterprises (MSEs) participants. Data was obtained from different clusters of MSEs in Nairobi Province and Central Province in Kenya. The study found that over 70 per cent of the MSEs studied had between one and five employees, and mainly relied on themselves and fellow traders for business information. Their use of computer-based ICTs was found to be low with the majority of those studied using relatively inexpensive mobile phone technology. The researchers observed that government involvement in making the ICTs more accessible to the MSEs is yet to be felt, and more needs to be done in promoting their use and providing infrastructure that can support the use of ICTs.
The effects of information and communication technologies on indigenous communities in South Africa : a library and information science perspectiveSource: Mousaion 32, pp 49 –68 (2014)More Less
When information and communication technologies (ICTs) are introduced in an indigenous environment, they bring along with them mass media, popular culture and global languages such as English. This may cause conflict with existing local traditions and may sometimes erode cultural stability. Paradoxically, these technologies can also empower the same community with new tools to create new economic, social and political opportunities besides preserving, promoting, and even safeguarding its indigenous cultural identity. This dichotomy begs the question: under which conditions can ICTs empower indigenous communities? This article investigates this question, focusing on the role of ICTs in promoting indigenous peoples' livelihoods in South Africa. It analyses key factors under which information and knowledge can be instrumental for the empowerment of marginalised groups. The article argues that improved access to information coupled with ICT skills can enhance indigenous peoples' capabilities to make strategic life choices and uplift their own livelihoods. Furthermore, the article develops an alternative evaluation framework for ICT interventions in indigenous communities based on Sen's (1999) capability approach. In contrast to the dominant narrative around the 'digital divide', this framework places the human development of indigenous communities other than ICTs at the centre of the analysis. With examples and experiences from two case studies from South Africa and Uganda, the article concludes that there is no direct causal link between ICTs and the social development of indigenous communities, but that in fact this relationship is shaped by a dynamic, multi-dimensional interrelationship between technology and the social context.
Source: Mousaion 32, pp 69 –92 (2014)More Less
Music librarians must have knowledge of the copyright laws which govern the transferring of music from the old analogue form to the new digital formats. These laws were a particular concern of the South African Music Archive Project (SAMAP) which aimed to create an online resource for indigenous South African music particularly that of musicians suppressed during the apartheid years. Polak's (2009) study was an offshoot of SAMAP. This article draws on her study and identifies the specific problems encountered by music librarians with regard to digital copyright law pertaining to music. The guiding theoretical framework is based on the Berne Convention (2014) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (1996) which provide the overarching international framework for guiding copyright. The literature review focuses on the international and national legislation; copyright in original recordings; duration of copyright; fair use, the public domain and information commons; copyright and fair dealing; and the South African Copyright Act (No. 98 of 1978). A survey conducted by e-mail identified problem areas experienced by the music librarians regarding the digital music copyright laws in South Africa. Two sets of guidelines for South African music librarians were formulated using their responses and the literature reviewed, and recommendations are made.
Author Wanyenda ChilimoSource: Mousaion 32, pp 93 –118 (2014)More Less
The library catalogue has changed over the years from a card catalogue to its electronic successor, the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), to what is called the next-generation library catalogue, sometimes referred to as the library 2.0 catalogue or 'the third-generation catalogue'. The purpose of this study was to investigate the current state of catalogues in academic libraries in Kenya and to evaluate whether these libraries have incorporated features of the next-generation catalogues in their OPACs. The study applied a checklist of features commonly identified as characteristics of the next-generation catalogue to examine whether the OPACs of university libraries in Kenya are comparable to the next-generation library catalogue. The findings of the study showed that libraries in Kenya have made some progress towards transforming their OPACs to the next-generation catalogue but have not reached the ideal. None of the OPACs has all the features evaluated. Progress has been made with features, such as enhanced content, simple keyword search and faceted navigation. However, none of the catalogues has federated searching capabilities. The study also found out that close to half of the libraries which have their OPACs available online are using Koha as their Library Management System (LMS). This article provides valuable information for library policy makers interested in modernising their catalogues or acquiring discovery tools for their institution. The article may also be a useful tool for evaluating OPACs modules of the integrated LMS, especially for libraries that are in the process of selecting a suitable LMS.
Research collaboration in the archives and records management field across and beyond universities in Africa : an informetric analysisSource: Mousaion 32, pp 119 –135 (2014)More Less
Due to technological developments, innovation and globalisation, research is becoming more complex, requiring wide-ranging skills. A lack of resources and publishing platforms has led to low research output in archives and records management (ARM) in most developing countries in Africa. However, experienced researchers from different countries can collaborate by sharing and transferring knowledge and making optimal use of resources that will lead to the sustainability of research output. Utilising informetrics analysis, as well as co-authorship as the measure for collaboration, this article examines the nature, trend and type of ARM research collaboration in Africa by identifying individuals, institutions and countries that collaborate in order to recommend ways of improving such activities. Quantitative data was extracted from the database of African Journals Online (AJOL) and analysed. The key finding suggested a low level of collaboration among ARM researchers, with the work produced emanating mostly from one institution. The study argues that social and physical proximity contribute to research collaboration in ARM in Africa. The scarcity of literature on ARM in Africa led the article to recommend more collaborative projects whereby established researchers nurture and mentor novice researchers to become self-sustainable in producing scholarly literature. Hopefully, this would help to formulate research agendas to address grand societal challenges, such as a lack of accountability, poor audit results and poor service delivery, which all stem from a breakdown in the records system and a non-sustainable ARM profession in Africa, in order to become on par with the rest of the world.
Source: Mousaion 32, pp 136 –165 (2014)More Less
The aim of this study was to assess preservation practices at the Records and Archives Management Department (RAMD) in Tanzania and to make recommendations aimed at ensuring the long-term preservation and accessibility of archives held at RAMD. The population of the study consisted of the Director of RAMD, two Assistant Directors, ten Senior Records Officers, two Records Officers, three Senior Records Management Assistants, three Principal Records Management Assistants and one Records Management Assistant. The data collection instruments included questionnaires, interviews, observation and content analysis. Qualitative data analysis was used to gain a better understanding of the issues under investigation. The findings indicated that legislation relating to the preservation of archives in Tanzania is not comprehensive enough and that RAMD lacks a preservation policy; preserves only paper-based materials; experiences a shortage of storage equipment; holds records under poor environmental conditions; lacks proper archival handling; carries out inadequate housekeeping practices; lacks adequate security and disaster preparedness measures; has inadequate conservation and restoration facilities; is underfunded; and lacks trained and experienced conservators. The study recommends amendments to the Records and Archives Management Act No. 3 of 2002; the formulation of a conservation policy; improvements in housekeeping practices and handling practices; and effective monitoring of temperature and relative humidity.